A visionary, Late Rajarambapu Patil was born in a religious and humble farming family of Late Anant and Putalabai Patil of Kasegaon, Dist. Sangli, Maharashtra. Against all odds of the time in British rural India, Rajarambapu completed his college education at Baroda, Gujarat with the help of scholarship from Sayajirao Gaikwad Foundation of Baroda. In 1942, he took part in India’s freedom struggle with the guiding principles of non-violence and civil disobedience of Mahatma Gandhi. And thus started the journey of a leader who led Maharashtra’s socio-economic revolution in the years to come…
Late Rajarambapu Patil completed his law education from Kolhapur and started his career in the field of education. He believed that good education, to his people, would ensure their socio-economic upliftment.He established Kasegaon Education Society at Kasegaon, Dist. Sangli, with the sole purpose of providing free education to the poor and started “Azad Vidyalaya” a high- school at Kasegaon. The school’s name “Azad” meaning “Free” or “Independent”, itself communicated the spirit of India’s struggle for independence that he was part of.Soon, he started “Sarvodaya Vasatigruha”, a school boarding for needy students to stay at the school premises, who could not commute to the school from their homes.In 1946, Rajarambapu married Kusumtai, a motivating force behind him for his entire life.
Such a promising and natural leader could not have remained isolated; he obviously entered more actively in the public life. Rajarambapu was elected to Sangli District Local Board and later became its President till 1962. During this period, he implemented numerous social development initiatives such as buildings for schools, drinking water wells, homes for poor etc., which had direct benefits for the masses of the area. During this period, he touched everybody’s life and people began to call him ‘Lokneta’, the People’s Leader. His drive for social development and its impact on people was so remarkable that in 1959, he was elected President of Congress Party of Maharashtra. In 1960, during Congress Party’s Conference in Pune, he was congratulated by the then Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru for his work. In 1960, he led an Indian delegation to England, which studied the British Democratic System of Governance.
Rajarambapu won Maharashtra Assembly Election from Walwa constituency with a landslide victory in 1962 and became Deputy Minister for Revenue and Forests, Maharashtra State.
Soon, he was elevated to Cabinet Minister – Revenue in 1965. During his tenure as Revenue Minister, he conceived and implemented many schemes for farmers and introduced, a very useful concept, Account Book for farmers.
On 16th February 1962, Rajarambapu was blessed with a son, Jayant, who eventually carried forward the legacy of social commitment with the same zeal, courage and enthusiasm as his father.
Rajarambapu registered a decisive victory in Maharashtra assembly elections from Walwa constituency in 1967 and became Minister for Civil Supplies, Cooperation, Industries, Power and Publications.
During his tenure as the Minister for Industries, he established many industrial estates in rural Maharashtra, which created huge job opportunities for the rural youth.
As the Minister for Power, he ensured that adequate electricity was available to farmers for irrigating their land, leading to increase in the agricultural output, through irrigation schemes as well as domestic pumps.
By this time, Rajarambapu had ensured that the community around him has realized the importance of education and farmers are provided with sufficient electricity for their irrigation needs. It was time to utilize this capital for further value enhancement. He came up with a novel idea of establishing Walwa Taluka Cooperative Sugar Factory at Sakharale, Dist. Sangli. This not only ensured jobs for the people but also the market for local farmers for their farm produce – the sugarcane! In 1969, the Walwa Taluka Cooperative Sugar Factory was established with initial capacity of 1250 TCD, which later mushroomed into an industrial powerhouse.
In 1970, he visited United States and Japan to study their industrial development. He wanted to share his studies and experiences with others, and thus in 1971, he authored two books for this purpose. ‘Lokshahichi Kshitije’ (Horizons of Democracy) and ‘Aadhunik Japan’ (Modern Japan).
Rajarambapu won Maharashtra assembly elections from Walwa constituency with an overwhelming majority again in 1972. Maharashtra was in the grip of a massive drought. To ensure that farmers from south-west of Maharashtra are not very severely affected, he planned to get water for irrigation from Warana river, but there was opposition to it from within the Congress Party.
Despite this opposition, he planned ‘Khujgaon Parishad’, a rally of more than 100,000 farmers to push the demand of water for irrigation from Warana river.
In 1975, he established Walwa Taluka Milk Federation at Islampur, Dist. Sangli, for strengthening the farmers economically through milk production along with more employment to people from the region.
Tired of wasting time in rivalries within Congress Party and the resistance emanating from them to his initiatives of socio-economic transformation, he took the decision to leave Congress Party in 1977 and join the Janata Party. This decision proved to be useful for the public life of Maharashtra as his work continued and he could focus more on people than being engrossed in the futile power games.
In 1978, he was elected as the Member of Legislative Council from Mumbai Municipal Constituency. During the same year, he established Agricultural Development Cooperative Federation.
Rajarambapu became the Minister of Rural Development and Justice in Maharashtra Government. He established Shetkari Vinakari Cooperative Spinning Mill at Islampur to continue the industrial growth and generate more employment opportunities in the region.
Sensing the banking needs as a result of good economic base that he had created for the local people, Rajarambapu established Walwa Cooperative Bank at Peth, Dist. Sangli. Since then the bank has been catering to all banking needs of the local population.
Rajarambapu organized a protest march on Islampur Tehasil Office for farmer demands and was arrested.
Rajarambapu helped establish another cooperative sugar factory at Kavathe Mahankal, which is a drought hit area.
Rajarambapu became the Finance Minister in Maharashtra Government. Later on, he was re-elected as the President of Maharashtra State Janata Party at the Party’s Sholapur Conference.
At Walwa Cooperative Sugar Factory, he established the first Acetone Plant in cooperative sector; this helped in augmenting the factory’s revenue.

At Sakharale, Rajarambapu established an Engineering College and Polytechnic to help the local community get the professional and higher education in the field of engineering and technology.

Rajarambapu took part in Party President Shri. Chandrashekhar’s nationwide long march for various demands and travelled 1100 kms. across Maharashtra.

On 9th January 1984, Rajarambapu fell sick of cold and fever and was admitted in Bombay Hospital, Mumbai. While in hospital, he wrote around 1000 letters to the party workers for strengthening the party. On 15th January, 1984 his health deteriorated further.
On 17th January 1984 at 2:45 pm, Rajarambapu Patil passed away in Bombay Hospital, Mumbai. It was an unexpected, shocking and unfortunate event for all.

After the untimely and sad demise of Rajarambapu, entire Walwa Region was in deep sorrow. But people had a ray of hope about their journey of socio-economic transformation under the leadership of Jayant Rajarambapu Patil!

Shree. Jayant Patil was born in 1962 and is the youngest son of late Rajarambapu Patil. He did his graduation in Civil Engineering from the prestigious VJTI, Mumbai. After the sad demise of Rajarambapu, he had to rush back to India from United States, where he had just started pursuing his higher studies.

Under immense pressure and continued persistence from the people of Walwa Region, Shri. Jayant Patil, then just 22 years old, had to reluctantly abandon his plans of post graduation in United States and lead the journey that late Rajarambapu had started. The determination and persistence of people was such that in 1984, Shri. Jayant Patil was elected (rather pursued to be) the President of Kasegaon Education Society and Chairman of Walwa Cooperative Sugar Factory. And thus began the second leap of the further journey of socio-economic transformation with equal zeal, dedication and determination as that of Rajarambapu himself.

A statue of Late Rajarambapu Patil was inaugurated at Walwa Sugar Factory by the then Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri. Vasantdada Patil. The factory and the factory area near Sakharale, Dist. Sangli, were later renamed by the people as Rajarambapu Patil Cooperative Sugar Factory, Ltd., Rajaramnagar.
Shri. Jayant Patil concentrated first on irrigation schemes for farmers and carried out ‘Padyatra’ (Long march with farmers and supporters), in the region to garner the support for irrigation schemes on Krishna and Warana rivers. Now, more than 15,150 hectares of land is irrigated with 36 Irrigation Schemes, with water from Krishna and Warana rivers. It was a note-worthy achievement by Shri. Jayant Patil for more than 100,000 people from the region. All these schemes are functioning as cooperative bodies run by farmers themselves!

Shri. Jayant Patil sensed the need of improved and more productive processes and in 1985, implemented computerized processes in the sugar factory which was the first of its kind in the cooperative industry. The crushing capacity of sugar factory too, was increased to 4000 TCD from 2500 TCD.

At the age of just 28 years, Shri. Jayant Patil won assembly elections from Walwa Constituency with a huge margin. As an MLA, he brought in many schemes from various government initiatives and continued the social development in areas like roads, housing, sanitation, cultural centers, medical help etc., in Walwa constituency.
As a young and energetic MLA, he gave many speeches in the Maharashtra Assembly on wide-ranging and important issues like poor quality of drinking water, lossmaking state corporations and improper allocation of funds in state finance budgets etc. These proactive speeches ensured these issues were properly attended to.

In early 1990s, he toured Europe for studying cotton-spinning businesses and Israel for agriculture related improvements. These tours helped him in understanding the gaps between world benchmark practices and our practices and possible ways to bridge them.

For the second time in succession, Shri. Jayant Patil won the assembly election from Walwa constituency with a huge margin.
As an MLA in opposition, he raised hundreds of questions on issues ranging from brutal attacks on common people to need to streamline cooperative industries, corruption in government operations and the like.
Despite being MLA in opposition, Shri. Jayant Patil ensured that development work in Walwa constituency is not hampered. With the help of trusts such as Rajarambapu Endowment Trust and MLA fund, further developments were carried out in the area.
Because of his innovative ideas and concern towards the cooperative sugar industry, Shri. Jayant Patil was elected as President of Sakhar Sangh, a federation of all cooperative sugar factories in Maharashtra.

He won Rashtriya Ekata Medal, a national honour by the central government.

For the third time in succession, Shri. Jayant Patil won assembly election from Walwa constituency with a decisive majority after joining Nationalist Congress Party led by H’ble Shri. Sharad Pawar.
In the Congress – NCP government, Shri. Jayant Patil was given the responsibility of the Cabinet Minister for Finance and Planning. It was a tough task to be a Finance Minister as Maharashtra’s finances were in a bad shape.

The first thing Shri. Jayant Patil did as Finance Minister was he came up with a White Paper on the state’s financial condition and presented it in the winter session of the Assembly. This helped in letting people know where Maharashtra stood financially. This also made it convenient for him to take up the challenge to improve the financial condition.

Shri. Jayant Patil met with a severe accident near Bangalore and had to undergo multiple operations on his fractured legs and was confined to a wheelchair for several months.
He presented the finance budget of 2001 while he was still on the wheelchair!

In 2002, Rajarambapu Cooperative Sugar Factory became the first cooperative factory in Maharashtra to start its own second unit (production plant) at Wategaon, Dist. Sangli.

In 2003, Shri. Jayant Patil tried out experiments of artificial rains across Maharashtra with foreign collaborators, when Maharashtra was reeling under a severe drought.

For the fourth time in succession, Shri. Jayant Patil won assembly elections from Walwa constituency with a huge margin of 84,855 votes against his nearest rival.
He was selected again as Cabinet Minister for Finance and Planning. This was an acknowledgement of his efforts to bring Maharashtra on track, financially.

In 2006, on his birthday, Jayant Poverty Eradication Campaign was started to uplift about 12,000 BPL families from the Walwa region.

In 2008, he made history by becoming the first Finance Minister of Maharashtra, who presented 10 annual budgets of the state in succession.
Mumbai was attacked by the Pakistani terrorists and after the resignation of Shri. R.R. Patil, as Home Minister, Shri. Jayant Patil was given the charge of Home ministry. It was a delicate responsibility on the backdrop of terrorists’ attacks on Mumbai and growing criticism on the poor state of the Police department and its morale.

However, Shri. Jayant Patil responded to the challenge successfully and many initiatives of police force modernization were taken up. Soon, he established the States’ own commando force, ‘The Force One’, to take on challenges of terrorists’ attacks with modern training, weaponry and equipment.

For the fifth time in succession, Shri. Jayant Patil won assembly elections from Walwa constituency with a huge margin of 54,508 votes over his rival.
Shri. Jayant Patil, being Finance Minister for many years and Home Minister for a year, was selected as Rural Development Minister in the new state cabinet. This gave him a good opportunity to work more closely with rural people across Maharashtra than any other portfolio he had held earlier.
‘Padyatri’, a memorial to Late Rajarambapu Patil was inaugurated at Kasegaon, his native place, by the H’ble President of India, Smt. Pratibhatai Patil along with H’ble Shri. Sharad Pawar, Agriculture Minister, Government of India. The memorial also serves as a community hall for the local people.
Shri. Jayant Patil continued as Cabinet Minister for Rural Development, after the reshuffle in the Maharashtra cabinet.
As a Minister for Rural Development of Maharashtra State, Shri. Jayant Patil has made a distinguished contribution to the state. This has been endorsed by the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India. Following are some prominent achievements of the Department of Rural Development, Maharashtra State:
Quantification of effective implementation of Panchayatraj institutions has been undertaken. Under ‘Yashwant Panchayat Raj Mission’, grading of Zila Parishads, Panchayat Samitis and Gram Panchayats has been done for 100 marks on various parameters. The institutions with lower grades will be focused upon for further performance enhancement.
Since 2010, ‘Project for Balanced and Prosperous Villagers’ is being implemented. Preservation and nourishment of natural resources and coupling together various schemes for rural development leading to constructive and complementary development is the key characteristic of this project. More and more Gram Panchayats are uplifted through public participation and then they are further assisted by providing them grants to move ahead. To cite an example of the achievements of this project, 15.1 crore trees have been planted in Maharashtra under this project.
To accelerate the development activities and through ICT based governance, Shri Jayant Patil took up the challenge of transforming rural Maharshtra into ‘Computerised Rural Maharashtra’, known as ‘Sangram’. The Department has appended several services to the systems provided by the Central Government and ‘Sangramsoft’ a comprehensive solution has been developed which has computerized 27 portfolios of daily activities of Gram Panchayats and provides 19 types of certificates at Panchayat level.
Banking service to the Gram Panchayats has also been pursued with top priority. So far, 5600 Gram Panchayats out of a total of 28,000 already have banking service available to them.
To make the purchase procedures faster, transparent and efficient, the process of e tendering has been adopted at Zilla Parisha and Panchayat Samiti levels.
Maharshtra Rural Livelihoof Mission is being taken up through the UMED Society and so far 25000 self help groups have been established. The buyers and seller meets ensure the marketing of the products of the self-help groups.
An extensive survey of educational service through Zilla Parishad Schools has been carried out to capture the strengths and weaknesses of these services. An elaborate grading process of 2000 marks has been carried out for 68,833 Zilla Parishad schools in Maharashtra.
These extensive efforts of rural development in the state have been acknowledged by the Central Government. For three years in succession, 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14, Maharashtra state has been ranked first under ‘Rajiv Gandhi Panchayat Empowerment Mission’ of the Panchayat Raj Ministry of Government of India.
2014-Till Date
Group Leader, Maharashtra Assembly, Nationalist Congress Party.
2019-Till Date
Water Resources and Command Area Development, Government of Maharashtra, Gaurdian Minister Sangli.